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API doc generator.

Project description

This is pydoctor, an API documentation generator that works by static analysis.

It was written primarily to replace epydoc for the purposes of the Twisted project as epydoc has difficulties with zope.interface. If you are looking for a successor to epydoc after moving to Python 3, pydoctor might be the right tool for your project as well.

pydoctor puts a fair bit of effort into resolving imports and computing inheritance hierarchies and, as it aims at documenting Twisted, knows about zope.interface’s declaration API and can present information about which classes implement which interface, and vice versa.


You can run pydoctor on your project like this:

$ pydoctor --make-html --html-output=docs/api --add-package=src/mylib

You can see the full list of options using pydoctor --help.


pydoctor currently supports the following markup languages in docstrings:

epytext (default)
The markup language of epydoc. Simple and compact.
The markup language used by Sphinx. More expressive than epytext, but also slighly more complex and verbose.
plain text
Text without any markup.

You can select a different format using the --docformat option.

Sphinx Integration

Sphinx object inventories can be used to create deep links between API documentation generated by pydoctor and by Sphinx.

Linking to external API docs

It can link to external API documentation using a Sphinx objects inventory with the following cumulative configuration option:


Linking to your API docs

pydoctor’s HTML generator will also generate a Sphinx objects inventory using the following mapping:

  • packages, modules -> py:mod:
  • classes -> py:class:
  • functions -> py:func:
  • methods -> py:meth:
  • attributes -> py:attr:

To use this mapping in Sphinx, configure the intersphinx extension:

intersphinx_mapping = {
    'pydoctor': ('http://domain.tld/api', None),

And use external references:

:py:func:`External API <pydoctor:pydoctor.model.Documentable.reparent>`


What’s New?

pydoctor 20.7.0

  • Python 3 support
  • Type annotations on attributes are supported when running on Python 3
  • Type comments on attributes are supported when running on Python 3.8+
  • Type annotations on function definitions are not supported yet
  • Undocumented attributes are now included in the output
  • Attribute docstrings: a module, class or instance variable can be documented by a following it up with a docstring
  • Improved error reporting: more errors are reported, error messages include file name and line number
  • Dropped support for implicit relative imports
  • Explicit relative imports (using from) no longer cause warnings
  • Dropped support for index terms in epytext (X{}); this was never supported in any meaningful capacity, but now the tag is gone

This will be the last major release to support Python 2.7 and 3.5: future major releases will require Python 3.6 or later.

pydoctor 20.7.1

  • Fix cross-reference links to builtin types in standard library
  • Fix and improve error message printed for unknown fields

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